Staying connected: An eventful summer for CanSPEP members

Imagine that a conference attendee walks up to your registration desk and suddenly drops to the ground. What would you do? What if your parent, your spouse or even your child experienced a medical emergency? Would you know what to do?

On May 10, CanSPEP offered CPR Certification training to 20 people comprised of both planners and suppliers. Our gifted speaker, Geoff MacBride, CPR Instructor and EMS consultant, taught us how to administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to both adults and children, how to use a defibrillator, how to use an epinephrine auto injector (EpiPen), how to stop bleeding, and how to conduct the “Abdominal Thrust” as written by Ellen Boddington, CMP CMM Stellar Conference & Event Management Inc.
Designing event themes and experiences
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What else has CanSPEP been up to? Well, if you haven’t checked out our website at or been following us on Twitter (#CanSPEP) or on our LinkedIn or Facebook accounts, here’s a brief rundown of the events and activities over the last few months, all focused on fulfilling our mandate of leading Canada’s event management industry through certification, education and standards.

In May, our Ottawa members held a session on how to successfully market your events business. Speakers talked about the art of the story, social media and video – all to enhance how to obtain and keep clients. Held at the Centurion Conference and Event Centre, attendees also had the opportunity to see great space for events and meetings.

Fish bowl breakfast

On June 20 2013, CANSPEP held a Breakfast & Fish Bowl Session on Strategic Meeting Management during Canada Meet Week. Over 80 people attended the event, bright and early at 7:30 in morning! Great discussions were held, led by Heidi Wilker, CMP of Blessed Events, on strategic procurement and how to encourage planners, suppliers and clients to take a more strategic approach in evaluating the value of meetings and conferences. Following the very intense conversations, we were taken through a series of ‘easy’ exercises by Exercise Bytes. Finally, many of us continued our learning and networking by attending educational sessions and networking and the IBe tradeshow. Thank you to the Allstream Centre for your great support.

Also in June, several CanSPEP members headed to London, Ont. to bid adieu to Barry Webb, recently of Tourism London, at his retirement roast. We wish Barry the best as he does nothing but play golf and bring his beautiful wife Wendy breakfast in bed every morning!

On July 9, Toronto and area members were in for a great treat when the Shangri-La invited us for a site tour and very elegant afternoon tea.

On September 20, we repeated our successful accessible session. Thanks for Courtyard by Marriott, Toronto for hosting the event.

As you can see, CanSPEP’s educational sessions run the gamut from how to market in today’s world to how save a life, with some site inspections and teas thrown in for good measure!

Coming up

Elections will be upon us sooner than we know. Yours truly will be rotating off the Board—it’s been a wild ride the past two years.

And our annual conference will also be here before we know it: February 20-22, 2014, sponsored in part by Brookstreet Hotel and Ottawa Tourism. Mark your calendars for this one – not to be missed! The theme is C2O – CanSPEP Connects to Ottawa, Originality, Opportunity, Outcomes. Our charity of choice is Operation Come Home, an employment, education, and support centre for homeless and at-risk youth aged 16 and up. Their programs focus on what works and what matters to youth, as well as encourage personal growth of everyone as an individual.

We continue to support Starlight Children’s Foundation as our charity for the year and raise funds at each event.

In the background, much work is being done by two very important advisory boards: Past President’s Advisory Board and the Partner’s Advisory Board. The Partner’s Advisory Board is that group of wonderful suppliers and partners to CanSPEP that helps guide us in all our strategic planning. It includes Robert Thompson, AV Canada; Julie Holman, Tourism  Toronto; Sandra Moniz, City of Calgary; Kelly MacDonald of Speakers’ Spotlight and Helene Moberg of Destination Halifax. We are truly grateful to all for their belief and support of CanSPEP. The Past President’s Advisory Board is exactly what it says it is. This group of past presidents looks at the governance of the association, makes recommendations and is responsible for myriad other strategic tasks to ensure CanSPEP moves forward. We are fortunate to have Joy Fox, our founding member and the first past-president, active on this board.

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